Welcome to the information page for our 50MW Taunton battery energy storage project.
The location of the project is on land adjacent to Taunton Substation.
Connecting to the available grid capacity, it can provide cost effective, flexible energy during peak electricity periods or times of system stress. Batteries also provide frequency services that help stabilise the grid network. As demand for clean electricity grows, battery storage projects like this one are vital in providing flexibility to the grid.
The location of the project is shown below or can be viewed on what3words’ interactive map here ///rapid.chart.long
The site has been chosen because it is close to existing electricity infrastructure and Taunton Substation. This means that we are able to connect the storage facility into the local grid. Our planning application for the battery storage project on this site was submitted in July 2022 to Somerset West and Taunton Council and was approved in November 2022.
Project key facts
- The 50MW of storage of the site can meet the average electricity needs of ~115,000 homes for 2 hours (assumes 3800kwh/yr average usage per household).
- The project would consist of containerised battery storage units that are able to store power and deliver energy.
- The overall size of the site is circa 5 acres, although this includes a significant area for ecological gain and screening for the site.
- With suitable and sensitive design, this project can have a low impact on the local area. For example, the proposed design of the site includes extensive tree planting and screening. With a Biodiversity Management Plan the site will be significantly enhanced for local ecology. Our assessments predict a 59.48% biodiversity net gain in habitat units and 31.23% net gain in hedgerow units, which exceeds the target value of 10% net gain set out in the recently enshrined Environment Act.
- The proposal incorporates existing mature hedgerows alongside planting local English woodland varieties, screening the site and improving the environmental benefits.
- The development is fully reversible, with an operational period of circa 35 years. The area would be fully restored to its existing condition when operations at the site are ended.
Proposed technical plan
Over the past year, we’ve seen unprecedented increases in fossil fuel prices – with spiralling costs passed onto consumers already hard hit by the rising cost of living. European gas prices soared by more than 200 per cent. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has piled even more pressure and the global situation has greatly exposed the UK and other European countries’ vulnerability with reliance on foreign imports of coal, oil and gas.
For a clean, affordable and secure energy future the UK needs more renewables at home, and more storage – and it needs them quickly.
Human made climate change is the greatest threat facing the planet and its impacts are already being felt. The world is now warming faster than at any point in recorded history. From extreme weather events such as droughts and wildfires, record breaking rainfall and flooding, to the warming oceans, climate change is having an impact on our way of life across the world and closer to home too.
In order to tackle carbon emissions, we need to transition to a low carbon and clean energy system. The UK’s climate change ambitions are amongst the highest in Europe and require us as a nation to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The British Energy Security Strategy (April 2022) set a target that ‘By 2030, 95 per cent of British electricity could be low-carbon; and by 2035, we will have decarbonised our electricity system’. More renewable energy generation and battery storage is needed to meet these targets.
Battery energy storage is critical to achieving net zero in the UK and battery projects are vital in providing flexibility and services to the grid. For us all to benefit from clean energy we must be able to store and then distribute it during times of peak demand. Renewables are the cheapest new energy generating technology, as well as being quick to deploy. But if the rapid transition to renewable energy is going to be achieved, battery storage is key.
As more renewables generate our power, we need greater flexibility in the grid. The wind doesn’t always blow, and the sun doesn’t always shine so we need batteries to balance the system. Storage can help make the most of green energy, using it to manage peaks and troughs in demand and operate the electricity system as efficiently as possible – keeping costs down too. This will become more and more important as the demand for clean electricity grows. According to National Grid’s Future Energy Scenario for 2021, up to 13GW of electricity storage will be required in the UK by 2030 to support the increased installation of renewable generation.
This depends on the design of the specific site, but typically the batteries are housed in containers, which need to be installed on a level platform. These are then enclosed by fencing to maintain security. Our proposals always seek to retain any existing trees and hedgerows around the site and are designed to fit into the area sensitively. As part of the planned design, comprehensive landscaping such as tree planting or bunds help to ensure that there is minimal impact on the local area.
When we assess the feasibility of a site, we carefully look at a wide range of factors such as the local landscape, site access, ecology, connection to the grid to identify and address any potential impacts the scheme may have on the local area. We always aim for our battery energy storage schemes to have a low impact on the local area and a high impact in grid stability.
The energy storage process does not have any sound emissions associated with it. But to make sure the batteries remain at the correct temperature; a series of cooling fans are used. As part of a planning application a background noise survey would normally be conducted which would model and then assess any levels of noise.
Each application is assessed individually and where required a flood risk assessment completed to support a planning submission. This will assess whether there are any potential impacts and incorporate mitigation as necessary to ensure there is no increased flood risk from the development.
As with anything we do, safety is fundamental. In designing and selecting equipment for the site, we ensure that all safety standards and legislative requirements are met. The battery storage modules are designed to have a very low risk of failure, and an even lower risk that any failure would result in an incident. Our battery storage projects are built and operated in line with industry best practice, with multiple layers of prevention and protection systems that minimise risk. Both fire detection, monitoring and fire prevention equipment is installed in all the battery storage modules and onsite.
As part of the planning submission, we will provide details on the access route and number of predicted vehicle movements. The main impact would be during the initial phase of the construction works, when there would be a number of HGV movements. A Construction Traffic Management Plan is typically provided to support the planning process , setting out how we will manage and control vehicle movements to minimise any impact. Once operational, there will be negligible traffic movements as the site is monitored remotely with 1-2 weekly maintenance visits by a car or small van.
With all of our projects we want to make a positive contribution and enhance local ecology wherever we can. To achieve this an ecological survey is conducted to identify the conditions onsite. This informs our proposals and design. We look to incorporate a range of ecological enhancements. For example, it might include bird and bat boxes, bug hotels, tree planting and grass meadows. Local knowledge and feedback can play an important part in this.
The development is fully reversible, with an operational period of circa 35 years. The site would be fully restored to its existing condition on cessation of operations.
Tell us what you think
We’d like to hear your feedback to help us shape our plans. If you have any questions please get in touch.
Post: Taunton c/o Conrad Energy, Suites D&E Windrush Court, Blacklands Way, Abingdon, OX14 1SY